For Harry Kane, it’s neither. Calling him “Kane” would be disrespectful: he’s more than just a gamer. But he’s not “Harry” either: somehow that would be too intimate, too familiar.
Instead, he’ll lead England into the European Championship this summer – in the hopes of winning an international tournament in a final on home soil – as Harry Kane, first and last name, like a reverse Pelé. It’s an honor in a way, but it’s also a sign of unconscious distance, like it’s a brand, company, or place.
There are many things everyone knows about Harry Kane. But knowing who he is or how he is is not one of them.
At the end of his first season with Tottenham, Kane and his teammates traveled to Australia for a short tour. It was Kane’s breakthrough year: he had scored 21 goals in 34 Premier League games. Almost overnight he was gone from a fringe gambler to be forever sent on loanto become a blooming idol.
However, Kane hadn’t noticed the transformation. While in Sydney he decided he felt like going for a walk. He went to the nearest mall, expecting to walk around in peace. Instead, he was swarmed by hundreds of fans within minutes. Since he couldn’t escape, he had to call the club to get him out.
The memory stuck with him. “I think in the beginning I was a little naive about what it means to be famous, what you can and can’t do,” he said. “I appreciate it, of course, and enjoy parts of it, and I suppose when I retire and it’s gone I will be able to tell you whether I miss it or not. But there are limitations that come with it. “